12 September 2018

New Flu Jab to 'Save Lives' this Winter

  • Yesterday in the news, it was reported by the BBC that vaccines are a 'national emergency.' Public Health England have responded, claiming a revised flu jab is set to save hundreds of lives this winter. The new vaccine will be offered to the over-65s in Wales and Northern Ireland and over-75s in Scotland, as the elderly are among the most vulnerable to the virus. 

    Every year, flu dumps a health burden on the population, in the workplace and on the NHS. The vaccine, which is available for the first time this year in the UK, aims to reduce GP consultations by 30,000, hospitalisations by over 2,000 and prevent over 700 hospital deaths from flu in England. 

    What are the new developments?

    The over-65s vaccine will protect against three strains of flu and will be offered to 'at risk' groups. 

    At-risk groups include pregnant women and those with chronic conditions.

    In total, 24 million people in England will be offered the flu vaccine - an additional 3 million compared to last winter.

    Public Health Minister Steve Brine said: "Our free vaccination programme is world-leading and we constantly review the latest evidence - that's why from next season we are prioritising new and existing vaccines we know offer the best protection."

    According to Carers Trust, if you care for an older or disabled person who would be at risk if you were ill you may be able to get a free NHS jab. You can also get one if you get Carer's Allowance. This is to ensure you are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications. Contact your GP for more information.

    For more Insights, click here. 




    Public Health England

    BBC News

winter is coming
04 September 2018

Food Safety Education Month: Food Hygiene in Care Homes

  • In care homes and other residential facilities, it's essential that good food hygiene practices are firmly in place. We're often reminded to be extra careful when it comes to spreading germs around the elderly, but why?

    The elderly are more vulnerable to food poisoning and other food-related illnesses, as ageing weakens the immune system. Increased comorbid conditions and the decrease in activity of the immune system are a combination that can make people increasingly prone to infections. 

    The Food Standards Agency offer the following food safety advice in their Safer food better business document: 


    Anyone who works with food should wash their hands before handling it. In particular, people with care duties should also wash their hands after: • helping residents e.g. use the toilet • emptying bed pans or using medical equipment • touching dirty linen and clothing • handling pets or their feeding bowls For more advice see the ‘Handwashing’ Safe method in the Cleaning section.

    Food storage and preparation

    • Do not use food past its ‘use by’ date • Make sure fridges are operating below 5°C • Follow the storage instructions on food labels. Use open food within two days unless label instructs otherwise. • Keep ready-to-eat food chilled.


    When cleaning up after accidents (e.g. vomiting or diarrhoea) make sure you wash and disinfect the area thoroughly. Make sure suitable clothing is worn, ideally a disposable apron, and hands are washed thoroughly afterwards.


    If care staff help during meals, they should wash their hands thoroughly and put on a clean or disposable apron before serving food or feeding residents. Staff should make sure visitors wash their hands thoroughly before helping to feed residents. Visitors should not be in the kitchen.

    Are you familiar with these guidelines? If you're a healthcare professional looking to find a long-term position, you're in the right place. Click here for jobs. 




hand washing
04 September 2018

Don't lose sight: 5 Ways to Protect your vision

  • The 24th September 2018 sees in National Eye Health Week. Sight is the sense that people are most fearful of losing, but do you really know how to protect your eyesight? If you fall into the bracket of being concerned about vision loss, but are only taking minimal steps in caring for their eyes, this one's for you. 

    The objective of National Eye Health Week is to create change in how we 'see' our own eyes. About two million people are living with severe sight loss in UK, limiting and impacting on their daily activities. 50% of this population’s sight loss is avoidable.

    What can you do? 

    1.) Visit your optician regularly 

    At the optician, you'll be examined by an ophthalmic practitioner or optometrist who is trained to recognise abnormalities and conditions such as cataracts or glaucoma. If you don't go, you won't know.

    2.) Limit screen time

    Stick to the 20-20-20 rule. Never heard of it? The rule says that for every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, a person should look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will reduce eye strain. 

    3.) Reduce alcohol

    Multiple studies have shown increased cateract formation in patients with higher alcohol consumption.

    4.) Don't look at direct sunlight

    Extended exposure to the sun's UV rays has been linked to eye damage, including cataracts, macular degeneration, pingueculae, pterygia and photokeratitis that can cause temporary vision loss.

    5.) Eat more fruit and vegetables 

    Vitamins and eye health are interlinked. Vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids all play a role in eye health. According to Web MD, they can help prevent cataracts. They may also fight off age-related macular degeneration (AMD).


    For more insights, advice and the latest stories, click here. 

03 September 2018

Suicide Awareness Day: Who can help?

  • Older people in residential and nursing homes are two to three times more likely to experience depression than older people in the community. If you're a carer and you suspect someone in your care is experiencing suicidal thoughts, there are a range of resources available to you so that you can find the support that they need.

    For anyone feeling intensely distressed, despairing or suicidal, advise the person to contact their GP and ask for an emergency appointment. If the surgery is closed, consider calling one of the numbers, below. 

    According to Samaritans UK, there were 6,639 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland in 2015.

    If you're unsure as to whether someone is or is not experiencing suicidal thoughts, here is what to look out for...

    • Talking about wanting to die
    • Looking for a way to kill oneself
    • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
    • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
    • Talking about being a burden to others
    • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.


    Act immediately to respond to the person by following these steps:

    • Do something now. Take warning signs seriously. Reaching out could save a life. Seek urgent help if it is needed by calling 999 or take the person to your nearest emergency department.
    • Ask if they are thinking of suicide. Talking about suicide will not put the idea into their head but will encourage them to talk about their feelings. Don’t agree to keep it a secret since the person’s safety is your main concern.
    • Acknowledge your reaction. You might panic or want to ignore the situation. If you are struggling, get the help of a trusted friend.
    • Be there for them. Spend time with the person, encourage them to talk about how they are feeling, identify who they can call on for support and encourage the person to agree to get further support.
    • Check out their safety. Ask how much thought the person has put into taking their own life. If you are really worried don’t leave the person alone. Remove any means of suicide available including weapons, medications, alcohol and other drugs, even access to car.
    • Decide what to do. Discuss together what action to take. You may need the help of others (partners, parents, close friends or someone else) to persuade the person to get professional help. Only by sharing this information can you make sure the person gets the help and support they need.
    • Take action. Encourage the person to get help from a local health professional such as a GP, counsellor or telephone helpline service.
    • Ask for a promise. Ask the person to promise they will tell someone if suicidal thoughts return. This will make it more likely they will seek help.
    • Look after yourself. It is difficult and emotionally draining to support someone who is suicidal, don’t do it on your own. Find someone to talk to, friends, family or a health professional.
    • Stay involved. Thoughts of suicide do not disappear easily. The continuing involvement of family and friends is very important to the person’s recovery.


    Who to call:


    MindInfoline: 0300 123 3393




    Tel: 116 123




    Papyrus HOPElineUK – 0800 068 41 41




    For more Insights, click here. 



    Mary Godfrey with Tracy Denby (2004) Depression and older people: Towards securing well-being in later life, London: Help the Aged.




31 August 2018

The Gift of Life: Transplant Nursing

  • The act of organ donation is one of humanity’s most wonderful gifts. In 2016, 50,000 lives were saved due to organ transplantation in the UK. NHS Blood and Transplant report that this figure was made up of 36,300 kidney patients, 9,800 livers, 1,900 pancreases, and 1,000 who were given an intestine transplant.

    Charlotte Baranowski, who previously worked in Bristol’s Southmead Hospital as a renal transplant co-ordinator, was able to offer an insight into transplant care...

     “It was my job to support patients through the renal transplant process and communicate with the patient, doctors and hospital. I also arranged and scheduled patients for pre-transplant testing.

    I would search to locate donors and would then test any donors for compatibility. Once a donor was found, I would schedule the patient for the surgery, and then arrange follow-up care needed after the procedure.

    It was a very challenging role - but thrilling to see the difference that you can make to people’s lives.”

    Today, Charlotte works as a Clinical Governance Advisor in the Newcross Bristol branch. Having also worked as an RN for Newcross, she now extends her prowess to other nurses and healthcare staff. She loves her job, telling us,

    Being a Clinical Advisor is a great opportunity to listen to fellow healthcare professionals and understand the challenges they’re facing. Although I’m not in uniform, my job is still very much nursing, only now I’m providing care and expertise to support other nurses who are in turn looking after service users.

    There’s never a dull moment!”

    The care given by transplant nurses after a procedure is varied. Common tasks can include taking care of the patient’s daily needs, changing wound dressings, treating infections, and administering medications.

    Transplant nursing is a specialised field, all nurses needing to be proficient in not only basic nursing duties, but also comfortable with assisting surgeons in the operating theatre. Assembling tools and handing them to the surgeon, while monitoring the vital signs and stability of the patient, are examples of duties undertaken by a transplant nurse.  

    Educating patients and their loved ones about the aftercare of transplants also comes under the umbrella of the role of transplant nursing. Nurses educate patients and their families on how to care for themselves whilst on the organ donor waiting list. They also thoroughly explain how the transplant waiting list works, and what will follow once a matching organ is found. 

    Professor of Transplantation Biology and Honorary Consultant Transplant Surgeon, Rutger Ploeg, told us, “Successful transplantation starts with a donor.” However, improper care in the recovery stages could lead to complications. It is the high standard of care that follows transplant surgery, that absolutely ensures the patient will go on to live a full and healthy life.

    Click here for more information about our complex care specialisms and job opportunities.

31 August 2018

Growing Demand: Numbers of elderly in 24-hour care set to double by 2035

  • A new study, published in the Lancet Public Health journal, has indicated that the number of people aged 85 and over needing 24-hour care is set to double in England between 2015 and 2035.

    It discovered that the number of 65-year-olds and over needing round-the-clock care is also set to rise by a third.

    Newcastle University and the London School of Economics and Political Science carried out the modelling study, which evidenced that the fastest growing demographic in the UK is elderly people over 85, whose numbers are projected to more than double by 2035, increasing by 1.5 million.

    Many of these elderly will develop multiple long-term health conditions, including dementia and diabetes, leading to increasingly complex care needs.

    The number of over-85s requiring help throughout the day with tasks such as dressing, bathing and going to the toilet is estimated to almost double to 446,000 by 2035.

    By the same time, the experts predict that a million over-65s will need similar 24-hour care.

    What does this mean for Newcross?

    The growing demand for trained complex carers will mean the demand for trained staff will rise accordingly. At Newcross, we're pioneers in Complex Care scenarios, where our specially trained staff provide one-to-one support, typically within an individual's home. Every month we deliver between 150 and 200 clinical courses to over 1,000 Nurses and Healthcare Assistants, enabling our staff to act appropriately. 

    We offer comprehensive care for a range of complex needs including:

    • Complex care for adults, children and young people

    • 24-hour live-in care

    • Sit-in service

    • Mental health and wellbeing 

    • Learning disability support

    • Palliative care

    • Home ventilation management

    • Renal care

    • Head injury rehabilitation

    • Chemotherapy management

    • Degenerative neurological conditions

    • Spinal injury

    • Hereditary conditions

    Every care package we provide is unique, and our experienced clinical lead nurses will work with you and members of our team to create the right package for you. Our specialist clinical teams located in Newcross branches across the UK can help you decide how much support you need, from full 24-hour care packages to supported living and maintaining independence.

    Click here for more information about our complex care specialisms and job opportunities. 

29 August 2018

5 Natural Home Remedies for Acute Coughs

  • Recently, new guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England (PHE), on the best ways to treat acute short-term coughs, suggested that we ought to be reaching for the kitchen cupboard, not the medicine cabinet.

    The evidence supporting the new guidelines showed that honey could be effective at reducing the symptoms of acute coughs, including how persistent the cough was and how severe their cough was.

    Dr Susan Hopkins, of Public Health England, said:

    “Antibiotic resistance is a huge problem and we need to take action now to reduce antibiotic use. Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them puts you and your family at risk of developing infections which in turn cannot be easily treated. 

    These new guidelines will support GPs to reduce antibiotic prescriptions and we encourage patients to take their GP’s advice about self-care."

    In light of this new research, we've compiled a list of five all-natural remedies you can try at home...


    In the study, honey appeared to be as effective as a common cough suppressant ingredient, dextromethorphan, in typical over-the-counter doses. Given that honey is inexpensive and widely available in almost all UK supermarkets, it's a more cost effective solution than medicines. To use honey to treat a cough, mix two teaspoons with warm water. Drink this mixture once or twice daily. 



    Ginger may ease a dry or asthmatic cough, as it has anti-inflammatory properties. It may also relieve nausea and pain.

    One US study suggests that some anti-inflammatory compounds in ginger can relax membranes in the airways, which could reduce coughing. 



    This enzyme found only in the stem and fruit of pineapple suppresses coughsby loosening the mucus in your throat. According to Healthline, to reap the  benefits of pineapple and bromelain, eat a slice of pineapple or drink 3.5 ounces of fresh pineapple juice three times a day to relieve symptoms. 



    According to Reader's Digest, thyme is an officially approved German cough treatment. Those tiny green leaves are packed with cough-suppressant compounds.



    Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts promoted as having various health benefits.

    They're usually added to yoghurts or taken as food supplements, and are often coined as 'friendly' bacteria. Probiotics have long-touted been a remedy for digestive health. While they do not directly relieve a cough, they may boost the immune system by balancing the bacteria in the gut.


    Have you tried any of these? Let us know by tweeting us @NewcrossHealth

cough medicine honey
28 August 2018

Thirteen years for Newcross! An interview with Newcross Nurse, Michael Nicholl

  • This week we met with Hamilton-based 'Healthcare Hero', Michael Nicholl, a nurse who has worked with Newcross for an impressive total of thirteen years. His areas of expertise extend to enhanced residential care, dementia care, brain injury rehabilitation and challenging behaviour, to name a few. 

    What made you join Newcross in the first place?

    I was already working with another agency and heard great feedback and praise about Newcross and decided to join back in October 2005. I've never looked back.

    Have you had any stand out moments working for Newcross? What were they? 

    There have been many, but I loved receiving my Ten Years Service Award. In a day-to-day sense, it's lovely to get decent feedback and praise from service user families and fellow colleagues.

    Thirteen years is a long time. What changes to the care industry have you seen during your time at Newcross?

    There have been many changes... Advancements in training, registration requirements for care assistants, senior care assistant positions in care sector. Thing have moved forward! 

    What do you think of the HealthForceGo app and Flexi Pay?

    I think they are brilliant ideas. The state-of-the-art HealthForceGo app benefits staff and gives them choice and freedom. Similarly, Flexi Pay benefits staff who may have sudden financial crisis. 

    What would you say to anyone thinking of joining Newcross? Do you have any advice? 

    Enjoy the ride! Seriously though, I would tell them to work hard and enjoy the rewards of working for a excellent company who think highly of their staff. 

    We'd like to extend our thanks to Michael for taking the time to speak with us and for his tireless commitment to our service users. 

    If you're a Registered Nurse like Michael, looking to find a long-term position, then you're in the right place. Click here for Nursing jobs, today. 

24 August 2018

New Study Shows Osteoporosis Increases Dementia Risk

  • A newly published large-scale study has evidenced that osteoporosis significantly increases the risk of developing dementia. The investigation was undertaken by the Epidemiology Team of IQVIA, Frankfurt, Germany. Osteoporosis affects over three million people in the UK. 

    The study sought to investigate the impact of osteoporosis on the risk of developing dementia in almost 60,000 patients, where they were followed for up to 20 years in more than 1,200 general practices in Germany. 

    What is the connection between osteoporosis and dementia?

    “The major hypothesis to explain the association between osteoporosis and dementia is that these two conditions have similar risk factors,” noted co-author Louis Jacob, MD, from the University Clinic of Paris 5.

    He continued: “These factors include APOE4 allele of the apolipoprotein E, a major cholesterol carrier, lower vitamin K levels, vitamin D deficiency, but also androgens and estrogens.”

    Project Lead investigator Professor Karel Kostev from the Epidemiology Team of IQVIA, Frankfurt, tol of how there is a great interest in the relationship between osteoporosis and dementia.

    “This study is the first to address this question in a very large database enabling the case-control-comparison between patients with and without osteoporosis.”


    Newcross is committed to the Dementia Friends Scheme and actively encourage our employees to sign up to the initiative. 

    We also offer an 'Excellence in Dementia' course, which aims to improve the learner's understanding of dementia and its effects on the service user. It then teaches how these effects may be managed to support the individual and their carers. For more information, click here


    Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322838.php